Archive for the ‘What Works’ Category

Lighting reduces crime in NYC public housing

March 4, 2018

This article summarizes an experiment in 2016 testing the impact of enhanced outdoor lighting on crime in 39 public housing sites in New York City. Index crimes declined 7% overall, with a 39% reduction in outdoor crimes at night, over the 6-month study period. Benefits were estimated to exceed costs after 6 years and by 3 1/2 times after 20 years. The full research report is available here.


Evidence-based policing conference May 21-22 in Philadelphia

January 14, 2018

The American Society of Evidence-Based Policing (ASEBP) will hold its 2018 conference May 21-22 in Philadelphia. Information about the conference is available here.

Evaluation of gun crime measures in Baltimore

January 13, 2018

This article reports a study of gun crime initiatives implemented in Baltimore since 2003. The most effective at reducing shootings was a plainclothes unit targeting hot spots and known offenders, but that same unit generated excess complaints and lawsuits and was subsequently disbanded. The study’s author suggests re-instituting the strategy with stricter supervision and controls. Other measures, including drug arrests, Ceasefire call-ins, and street interrupters had smaller or inconsistent effects.

Canada study of SROs finds benefits

January 12, 2018

A 2-year study of police assigned to 66 high schools in Peel Region, Canada documented benefits for students and staff, according to this article. Positive effects of the School Resource Officers included “reducing crime and bullying while providing extensive social and economic benefits estimated at 11 times the cost, especially for students who feel safer and less stressed, miss less school, are better able to learn and are mentally healthier.”

Hot spots & outreach in Delaware

November 24, 2017

This article describes data-driven initiatives by the Delaware State Police to target crime and traffic hot spots, as well as emphasize thorough preliminary investigations and community outreach. Interestingly, among the 50 states, the one in which the state police represent the biggest portion of all police is Delaware.

Police work can be a pain in the … back

November 18, 2017

This article reports a study underway in Eau Claire, Wisconsin aimed at determining whether police wearing an equipment vest, shifting some of the load away from the traditional belt, might help prevent or relieve strain on the lower back.

Proactive policing — what works

November 10, 2017

The National Academies has released a review of evidence on the effects of specific proactive policing strategies, including hot spots, focused deterrence, broken windows, and problem solving. Short-term reductions in crime are commonly found, with less evidence on long-term impact. “Backfire effects” on overall community relations are not common, but the review committee noted “the lack of data on the role of racial bias in proactive policing was startling.” A summary is available here and the full report is available here.

CAPS rebound in Chicago?

November 4, 2017

Beginning in 1993, Chicago implemented a major community policing initiative — CAPS, the Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy. An exhaustive 10-year evaluation reported beat meeting attendance at over a half-million residents, increases in public trust, and decreases in crime, disorder, and fear of crime. Starting in the mid-2000s, however, the city reduced CAPS funding in favor of other priorities. This article reports a proposed budget increase for community policing in FY 2018, possibly signaling a shift back toward the once-successful CAPS approach.

Policing at a crossroads

October 24, 2017

This video presents the opening law enforcement panel at the Cato Institute’s “Criminal Justice at a Crossroads” conference. Panelists include Chief Tom Manger, former Chief Ron Davis, and Sergeant Renee Mitchell representing the American Society of Evidence Based Policing.

“Secured by Design” yields 87% property crime reduction

September 29, 2017

A study by Police Scotland has found that 3,000 “secured by design” (SBD) residences had 1/7th the number of burglaries and thefts over a 10-year period versus comparable residences, according to this article. Information about the UK police SBD initiative is available here.